The Fellows Hip: the Rise of the Gamers

A while back, an old friend of mine from grad school called me up and asked me to co-write a script for an indie film. He was out in Virginia, I was here in California. We wrote the script, batted it back and forth for a while, polished it up, and then I went on my merry way. He and some associates then did the hard part of the job. They went and shot the thing. Writing film scripts is not that hard. There’s a reasonably rigid formula to it. Shooting them? That’s a different kettle of slippery little fish.

The film is called The Fellows Hips: The Rise of the Gamers (here’s the IMDB page if you want to check out cast/crew). It’s a buddy-comedy movie about some high school gaming geeks who find meaning in life by getting into a Lord of the Rings video game contest. The story follows them as they road-trip it down to the convention and geekdom. We wrote the script to deliberately mirror events from the Lord of the Rings. And, yes, we did get the Saul Zaentz Company to sign off on the project. They’ve been known to sue people who take liberties with LOTR, as they hold the entertainment rights to the trilogy. As part of the film, we also won the collaboration of the guys at Turbine who do the MMORPG Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar. I haven’t seen the final cut, but they were gracious enough to allow video game footage to be used in the film.

In addition to co-writing the script, I also wrote a song for the soundtrack. You can hear a rough cut of it here. Anyway, The Fellows Hip should be released sometime later this year. Keep an eye out for it!

Ag Advisory

I sit on our county’s ag advisory committee. We make recommendations to our county Board of Supervisors on matters concerning ag. Today, we had to discuss whether or not horse stabling is a compatible use with agriculture. Horse stabling on a cattle ranch. Aargh. This, folks, is a good example of how crazy California has become.

Humor and Hortiventury

I started writing a new book last week. It’s a humorous take on the science and pursuit of hortiventury. Hortiventury is a little-known part of the scientific community that involved hunting down fascinating flora in dangerous or remote settings. Most people don’t know, but Julius Caesar was a dedicated hortiventurist, viewing that more as his life-calling. Ruling the Roman Empire was a bit of a headache for him, but he recognized his responsibilities there, even though he would’ve gladly chucked it all for a lifetime of hortiventury. Atilla the Hun was another famous hortiventurist. Oddly enough, one of his personal chefs was the inventor of what we moderns call fudge.

A Winter’s Day

Well, Mark Helprin wrote A Winter’s Tale (excellent book), but all I can manage is this post. A winter’s day in California? What does that entail, you might ask, while the rest of the nation is turning into an ice cube? Let me recount the ways…70 degree weather, sunny skies, pleasant breeze, an amble along the beach path with the family (Kiddo #1 wobbling all over the place as he strives to master the art of the scooter, Kiddo #2 ensconced in his stroller as he benignly surveys all that is). Even though California is almost completely populated by crazy people, it still does have a few positives.

I wish I was a jack-of-all-trades

I wish I had studied illustration in college (in addition to everything else I studied). I can do everything in the indie publishing process except for designing my covers (and, of course, I hire a real-deal copy editor when I hit the grammar-and-bits part of the process; I would never trust myself with that sort of thing). I’m currently waiting on 3 different covers from 3 different designers and, I must confess, I’m getting rather impatient. One of the covers is for The Hawk, as the current cover does not communicate what the book is. The second cover is for The Model Universe, as I think those stories deserve something much better. The third cover is for a new collection of humorous urban fantasy shorts I have coming out: The Mike Murphy Files. I’m pretty excited about that one. I love writing humor and I’m curious to see how the stories will be received.